Out of Iraq? Not so fast ...

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President Obama’s campaign promise to get us out of Iraq in sixteen months gave him the electoral heft to oust "frontrunner" Hillary and catapulted him into the White House. Yet, now that the public’s attention is fixed on our swiftly deteriorating economic plight, that promise is being quietly — but definitely — broken. I’ve been predicting that for god-knows-how-many weeks, but now we have substantial evidence that my hunch presaged an emerging reality. Eli Lake reports in the Washington Times:

"As President Obama weighs options for withdrawing U.S. combat troops from Iraq, the country’s military is purchasing American helicopters, cargo planes and tanks equipment that typically requires a prolonged U.S. presence for maintenance and training.

"Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, who is in charge of training Iraq’s security services and military, told The Washington Times that some of the ordered equipment would not be delivered until 2012, even though a new status of forces agreement (SOFA) requires all U.S. troops to exit the country by [the end of] 2011."

To Gen. Helmick, this looks like the Iraqis are seeking "a long-term strategic relationship with the United States."

Translation: We ain’t leaving!

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Justin Raimondo [send him mail] is editorial director of Antiwar.com and is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard and Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.

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